Holiday Hacks: A Guide to Christmas Spirit, Without the Hard Work

Hands On

Christmas is a time of giving, but it’s also a time of doing. Hang the lights, shop for presents, cook massive meals, wrap aforementioned presents, sit in Santa’s lap, etc. The key to surviving is thinking smarter, not harder. Man Crates does gifts for men without all the fluff, which makes us a prime candidate to share some DIY Christmas hacks that will make this the simplest, smoothest holiday season ever.

Cook everything in crockpots.
This is the ultimate vessel for delicious, slow-cooked, big batch winter foods like chili and beef stew. It also pairs well with the sizzling sauces in our Hot and Spicy Crate. Best part…only one dish to wash!

Keep Christmas lights untangled by wrapping them around cardboard.
You can tell a lot about a man by his Christmas lights–are they tangled, bright, subtle, obnoxious, crooked, perfect? It all starts with the storage. Winding strings of lights around a cardboard box flap will prevent future frustration when pulling down that bin from the attic in 350 days.

Hang Christmas lights using a hot glue gun.
If, for some inexcusable reason, you haven’t hung up your lights yet, we recommend hot glue gun over nails. Less stress on the house, and less chance of electrocution! Also, stop reading this. Go. Now.

Keep beer close at hand.
When all else fails, accept the comforting embrace of a winter lager (We wrote about some of the best here, FYI). If corporate suds aren’t your thing, try your own hand with our 5 gallon Home Brewed Kit.

Ban wrapping paper.
Wrapping presents is completely ludicrous. It’s a Sisyphean task. Like pushing a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down, we humans toil with scissors, tape and bows to cover presents only so our loved ones can rip the hard work into pieces. Forget that. Get them a crate or a gift bag (no tissue) instead. iPhone? Bag it. XBox? Bag it. New Labrador puppy? Bag it.

Chop your own Christmas tree.
Manliness is earned, not given, and returning back to your nest with a fresh Douglas Fir slung over your shoulder is as good a qualifier as any.

Christmas tree sap on your hands? Try toothpaste.
Sure, you’ve completed the heroic act of cutting your Christmas tree in the wild, but how do you get rid of all the sticky stuff? Wash your hands with some Colgate. Seriously.

Zip tie Christmas ornaments.
If you’ve got a dog that thinks it’s a cat, or an infant that thinks the world is just a place to grab things, you can string a zip tie through the top of an ornament and have it cling to the tree just a bit tighter than usual.

You can put up ZERO Christmas decor, but if you light 5 candles with the word “Gingberbread” in their scent, you will suddenly transform your home into an Elf Workshop

Use toilet paper tubes to secure unruly wrapping paper.
It’s so disheartening to watch tightly coiled wrapping paper come unspooled, but you can keep it rolled by sliding it inside an empty toilet paper roll. Plus, this is called recycling!